From Manuscript to Print: the Evolution of the Medieval Book


Icelandic Jónsbók
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Printing and paper came relatively late to Iceland, home of the medieval sagas, on the periphery of northwestern Europe. Although a printing press was active on the island for a few years during the 1530s, demand for legal and other documents occupied copyists using medieval scripts and rubrication on domestically produced parchment. Thus despite its late date (ca. 1550, around the time of the Lutheran Reformation in Iceland), this copy of Jónsbók--Iceland’s law code, in force from the late 13th through the end of the 17th century--is essentially a medieval manuscript.

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Jónsbók. Iceland, fifteenth century.
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continue to Evolution of the Book

the Sacred Word
Private Prayer
Leather and Chains
Medieval Music
How the Classics Survived
Manuscripts in the Age of Print
Evolution of the Book
Appetite for Destruction
Manuscript Facsimiles
Cornell's Medieval Books
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